Feel Like a Woman?


New obsession: Gender Tests. Yesterday, I read an article about South African runner Caster Semenya, who has been asked by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) to take tests in order to confirm that she is, in fact, a woman. Apparently she got really good, really fast, and that raised some estrogen levels, er, eyebrows. The 18 year old has been slaying the competition during the world championships, which probably did not help her case.

Transsexual, Transgender, DragQueen, Internalized Homophobia, and Liberation???

blog week 9 drag

When I was in the six grade there was a kid in my class (we’ll call him Rudy) that was what I like to call “The Kyle Washington type”(for all of those who have seen college hill south beach you know exactly what that means). If you have not seen College Hill, allow me to explain.

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The “Kyle Washington Type” encompasses characteristics like being loud, flamboyant, over-weight, insecure, and always taking there internal hatred out on the innocent victims that rub them the wrong way, no matter how justified that person might be. For anyone who is relatively familiar with the gay community, the “Kyle Washington Type” is no secret. They are the best friends of some, and the worse enemies of others.

Now imagine all those characteristics in an openly gay 12 year old transgendered kid. To put it lightly, Rudy got made fun of A LOT.  The students teased him to the point that his parents pulled him out of the middle school that I attended. I was never one of those individuals who initiated the attacks against Rudy, but I cannot lie and say that I never laughed at him. I knew he was gay—he never tried to hide that—I knew I was confused about who I was suppose to like at that age and I knew that laughing at him would make me safe from being ridiculed for my hidden homosexuality.

This is a very small case of internalized homophobia on my part. That’s what I call it when someone that is gay/DL, in attempts to hide their “true self”, bullies or ridicules other LGBT people. I have seen internalized homophobia on greater scales. I knew a football player in high school that brutally beat and teased every LGBT kid he could find. Then the same football player tried to come on to me.

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People are many times afraid of what they don’t understand.

People are many times afraid to be what others don’t understand.

It seems the only way out of this vicious cycle is for people to educate themselves. And this cannot always be done by reading a book on the subject. One reason why Rudy got made fun of so much is because he was different, and his peers—including myself at the time—did not understand him. Most adults to this day don’t understand the differences among being transsexual, transgender, and a drag queen. So allow me to take a moment to break down these terms.

Individuals who identify as “transgender” or “transsexual” are usually people who are born with typical male or female anatomies but feel as though they’ve been born into the “wrong body.” For example, a person who identifies as transgender or transsexual may have typical female anatomy but feel like a male and seek to become male by taking hormones or electing to have sex reassignment surgeries. Transgender is the umbrella term for gender identity. Transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual; some may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable to them. To be transsexual relates to having some type of sexual reassignment or a sex change. A drag queen is a person, usually a man, who dresses, and usually acts, like a woman often for the purpose of entertaining or performing. There are drag artists of all genders and sexualities who do drag for various reasons.(Main source of information comes from Intersex Society of North America http://www.isna.org/)

Many people I grew up with in my church would not of taken the time to finish the last paragraph. So to conclude the series on a Gay Man’s Struggle, is liberation possible? So far Wisconsin, Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, have all formed some type of legalized marriage or civil union. Not to mention the United States has to deal with the thousands that got married in California last year. And every generation that passes becomes more understanding and accepting of the LGBT community. It is only a matter of time before liberation—legally and socially—becomes a reality. Once people begin to reach out and try to understand something they didn’t want to talk about before, that is the beginning of liberation and that is when this fear of a certain group of people begins to end. History speaks for itself, with every movement. The gay movement is only leading to one place. A place where discrimination ends, and equality is gained. Then maybe a gay man’s struggle will become a gay man’s triumph.

gay liberation blog #99

Today in Pre-Race History: Mad Men as Race Men?

I like Mad Men. It’s a good show, well-written and -acted. All of that. I’m not turning myself into a Mad Men avatar like other fans, but I get the allure. (Besides, there’s no maid’s uniform.) The world of Mad Men is sleek, shiny, colorful; it totally messes up my “the only colors available in the olden days were black and white” argument. I probably think this way because I am, like, totally generation neon. As good as it is, MM is also very white–whiter than, say, a drinking game at your local frat house. But I value MM for what it is, which I suppose could be described as privileged white people being their privileged white selves.

Hip-Hop Stand Up!


Lately I’ve been completely repulsed by the state of hip-hop. When hip hop was first recognized as a mainstream genre, rappers served as journalists by writing and broadcasting candid exposés on their plights and struggles.  Even the profanity-laden rap group, NWA, expressed the anger that young black men from the inner city had with institutions that they felt worked against them.  Through similes, metaphors, and puns hip-hop created a culture that became a fixture in America and throughout the world. Unfortunately, I think that culture has devolved into sophomoric buffoonery that has been embraced by too many people. As a hip hop aficionado it pains me to see little kids reciting songs like “Half a Brick” by Gucci Mane or “Becky” by Plies. Both of these songs glorify drug dealing, promiscuity, and flat out stupidity.

pump your brakes

I know you’re damn near hyperventilating waiting for Tuesday blogging goodness from the kid.  But check it out: a dissertation cannot write itself, even if you keep telling it that you’re busy describing what’s going on in your life in 140 characters or fewer.  And since I’m totally not trying to have my dissertation chair call my mama, I need to exchange hating for dissertating, and spend a little q.t. with the final leg of graduate school.  I got the incense, wine, candles, massage oil, and Sade on repeat.   I plan to type sweet nothing(nes)s into a Word document.

That means my entry will be up (hopefully) later this evening.  Go do a facebook quiz or something.  Telling your homies another 25 random things about you should be loads of narcissistic fun.

Go play.

Happy Birthday Marcus Garvey


Born of Jamaican roots on August 17, 1887, Marcus Garvey is the grandfather of pan-Africanist cultural movements throughout the diaspora.

His Universal Negro Improvement Association went onto inspire generations of movements, scholars and black people across the world.

Today, I encourage all of you to take a moment out to remember this powerful ancestor, and his all important legacy.

Check out Uptown Notes for a much more prolific tribute to Garvey.

If you have no confidence in self you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence you have won even before you have started” ~Marcus Garvey

…Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.~Marcus Garvey

Men who are in earnest are not afraid of consequences~Marcus Garvey

God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be~M.Garvey

Quotes courtesy of @Ciciwryter


originally posted at South Side Scholar

Stopping (Constitutionally) Sanctioned Violence against Women of Color

On March 3rd, 2009, Aniysah was taken from her mother’s arms by New York’s Family Court System and placed in the care of Aniysah’s father who has a history of domestic violence offenses. Furthermore, there were no records verifying that she would be taken to a safe living environment or that she was enrolled in school. Questions about her health and well-being went unanswered. That was over 150 days ago. To date, Aniysah remains lost in the family court system. A system where black and brown children go missing every day. A system where black mothers like Aniysah’s are often left to fend for themselves in a brutal, dogged battle just to make sure their children are safe. On the surface, this case appears to be a simple custody dispute, however, if one digs deeper it is a story about the injustices of New York’s Family Court System and how it fails brown women and children daily and how it can be used to further terrorize and re-victimize survivors of domestic violence.

Here at Document the Silence, one of our goals is to break the silence surrounding violence against women of color, particularly those who are poor and working class. Moreover, we want to raise awareness about how this violence informs and intersects with various aspects of our culture, including the media, and the legal system. Thus, we think it’s critical to point out that the “Where’s Aniysah” campaign is not only about the failings of the family court system but is also about domestic violence and how it has shaped the legal struggles of Aniysah and her mother, Angeline. As a survivor of domestic violence at the hands of Anyisah’s father, Angeline is a living testament to the “intimate” connections between experiences of abuse among women of color and the mistreatment they experience in the family court system. Because of the case is still pending we cannot list all the facts of the case in this email, but you can find all the facts on our website.

It’s time to hold the family court system accountable. Document the Silence asks that you join them in the “Where’s Aniysah?” campaign by posting information about this case on your blogs, online social networks and throughout your community (http://documentthesilence.wordpress.com). At the website you will also find a petition, and suggestions for what you can do to demand that justice is served on August 24, 2009. We especially encourage you to leave comments on the site expressing your support for Aniysah. Also, please feel free to forward this email.

If you are in the New York City area, please show your support for Angeline’s case by coming to her next family court hearing on August 24, 2009 at 11:00 am. The courthouse is located at:

Courtroom E-123, Annex Building
Justice Fernando M. Camacho
125-01 Queens Boulevard
Kew Gardens, NY 11415

If you can make it to Angeline’s next court hearing on August 24, 2009, please let us know by emailing us at: WheresAniysah_Campaign@yahoo.com

Thank you in advance for doing your part in breaking the silence surrounding injustices against women and children of color.

In solidarity,

Fallon S. Wilson, Document the Silence Organizer

"Skinny-Bitches are [NOT] evil"




In 2001, Mo’Nique in Queens of Comedy came to the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis. She enters from a rotating pyramid. As she steps on the stage, she gives Memphis its props, and then says to all the “fat girls”  “…stand y’all fat asses up and take a motha-fuckin’[sic] bow.”

She goes on to exclaim:

“Godt-dammit[sic] big women,  Alright big girl  you’d better represent it godt-dammit[sic]. You’d better do it, ya [sic] fat ass. I love ya baby-girl, you handle yo[sic] shit. Fuck you skinny bitches, Na! Fuck you skinny anorexic bulimic motha-fuckas [sic], what?!….Look at ‘er[sic] shakin’, bitch cause ya hungry…Skinny women are evil and they need to be destroyed, baby.”

A Gay Man's Struggle: Leviticus Said "Man Shall Not Lie With Man"



In High School I went to a church that rallied students to stand in front of abortion clinics with red tape covering their mouth and black marker written on the tape displaying one simple word. “Life.” I never personally went on these escapades, but there was already a contradiction building between my personal life and my religious life, my God and my homosexuality, my religion and my passion for civil liberties.

Beginning from before I was able to read, before I was old enough to understand what homosexuality was, before I began to have an attraction to any type of sex, I knew one thing…being gay was wrong. And I knew this single fact because of my up bringing in the church. The bible verse that is most frequently used against homosexuals in the church is in the Torah, in the book of Leviticus “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination”(Lev. 18:22).

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Now times the last ten lines by one hundred and you will understand how many times I heard my pastor and his raspy Baptist voice speak this line. I was brainwashed. As a little kid I was taught to think being gay was wrong. And I didn’t have a problem with that for quite a while, until I realized and came to accept that I had some homosexual tendencies myself. 🙂

It is funny how this bible verse is repeated so often, yet the bible verse a couple chapters later that tells “God’s People” not to eat shellfish is often ignored at the very same Baptist Church Friday night-fish-fry.

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The other frequently used bible reference that is used to quickly give evidence to all homo-phobs that homosexuality is wrong, is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In this story God “supposedly” destroys a city of gay people, because…well…when I was a kid in church, I was taught that God destroyed the city because the people were gay. I encourage everyone not to just listen to these traditional and bigoted pastors about what the bible says, but listen to the theologians that give the other side to this argument.

Youtube wins again…check out the first gay man to be the head of a Episcopal Church. 

The Bible Tells Me So

The Push for "Precious"


Just last week, I stumbled upon a movie trailer on YouTube that really caught my attention.  The independent film, Precious, tells the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones, a Harlem-bred, morbidly obese, pregnant, HIV-positive, illiterate, junior high school student who struggles with low self-esteem.  If that isn’t already an earful, Precious’ story is further complicated by the presence of her welfare-collecting mother (played by Mo’Nique), who verbally and physically abuses her on a daily basis.  While the film’s overall tone appears to be overwhelmingly bleak, Precious manages to find refuge with her compassionate and empowering schoolteacher.